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New Zealand Politics


Good Lobbyist’s Guide, The by Annabel Young. ISBN 0908988249. Published by Exisle Publishing. Recommended retail price $17.95.

Lobbying is a vital part of the democratic process, but most people don’t know where to start. Which politician should you approach? What is the best way of going about it? How do you become an effective lobbyist? In this practical handbook, former Member of Parliament from New Zealand, Annabel Young explains how to approach MPs.

In New Zealand, democracy means more than simply voting in a general election every three years. Everyone has a right to express their opinions to the government and attempt to influence new legislation. Lobbying is a vital part of the democratic process, but most people don’t know where to start. Which politician should they approach? What is the best way of going about it? How do you become an effective lobbyist?

In this practical handbook, former MP Annabel Young explains how to approach government officials, when and where to do so, and how to ensure that you get your message across effectively. Whether you want to lobby your statesman as an individual or with others as a group, Annabel Young provides sound advice on how best to achieve your objectives. She also outlines what other avenues of government might be available to you, including the crucially important select committees.

The Good Lobbyist’s Guide will also be invaluable to professional lobbyists, lawyers, public servants, special interest groups and official bodies, and to anyone who is required to make representations to government officials and select committees.

Annabel Young entered Parliament in 1997 after a successful career as a tax lawyer and tax accountant. She had also spent nine years as a signals officer in the New Zealand Territorial Army. Her professional career and lifetime involvement with the National Party prepared her well for her work as a list MP, which lasted for more than five years. Nothing prepared her for the lobbyists, however, who were sometimes good but usually bad or indifferent. Annabel lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Soft cover, 136 pages. Published in 2003.


Dangerous Democracy?: News Media Politics in New Zealand edited by Judy McGregor.  Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864692595. Recommended retail price $26.

The centrality of the news media to contemporary politics demands that performance of political journalism in New Zealand is scrutinised and its function vigorously debated.

Issues such as the constitutional role of political journalism, what MMP will mean for the news media, the influence of political journalism and of talkback radio, how female politicians are portrayed in the news media, the coverage of Maori politics, media manipulation, the role of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, public opinion polls and political cartooning are debated in Dangerous Democracy?

Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Peter Hawes, Nigel Roberts, Stephen Levine, Mike Moore, Judy McGregor, Steve Maharey, Jim Tully, Tom Frewen, Alastair Morrison, Alister Browne, John Saunders, Janet Hoek, Philip Gendall and John Harvey debate the controversial subject of whether political journalism in New Zealand enhances or debilitates the dialogue of democracy. Soft cover, 250 pages.


Electoral and Constitutional Change In New Zealand: An MMP Source Book edited by Jonathan Boston, Stephen Levine, Elizabeth McLeay and Nigel S. Roberts. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693419. Recommended retail price $55.

Voting systems are not usually the subject of editorials, letter-to-the-editor and petitions. MMP is the exception. Yet the move to a new electoral system for New Zealand was not entered into lightly or rapidly.

This book provides a documentary record of the process of electoral reform and its consequences. The years of debate and deliberation involved a Royal Commission, two referendums and the writing of a new Electoral Act. But there was much more, including court cases on the enrolment of Maori voters; the drawing up of new electorate boundaries for the whole country; the drafting of new selection rules by political parties for their electorate and party-list candidates.

This collection of documents traces the story of MMP from the Royal Commission’s proposals through the break-up of the National-New Zealand First Coalition. The coalition agreements between Jim Bolger and Winston Peters, and between Jenny Shipley and the defectors from New Zealand First are both published in this volume. Other documents focus on the resignation of Alamein Kopu from the Alliance – and what, if anything should have been done about it – as well as the wider impact of MMP on New Zealand’s politics and law-making – on Parliament, Cabinet and the public service. Soft cover, 497 pages.


New Zealand Politics Source Book, The (3rd Edition) edited by Stephen Levine with Paul Harris. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693389. Recommended retail price $55.

The New Zealand Politics Source Book brings together a range of thought-provoking selections from the basic documents of New Zealand politics. These extracts convey a sense of the variety, complexity and historical origins for many of New Zealand’s current political practices and much of our political debate.

Now in its third edition, this new Source Book features extracts from important cases involving the New Zealand Bill of Rights, including the 1997 Court of Appeal decision of ‘same-sex’ marriages; New Zealand’s arguments in the World Court against nuclear weapons and French underground nuclear testing; treaties outlawing nuclear testing, biological and chemical weapons, and land mines; and international agreements on climate change, biological diversity and the ozone layer. Soft cover, 540 pages.


Ombudsman in New Zealand, The by Bryan Gilling. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864693362. Recommended retail price $20.

Where there is structured human society, there is bureaucracy. Bureaucrats exercise power, and the use by humans of power contains the seeds of unfairness, abuse and corruption. The office of ombudsman was created in New Zealand in 1962 to allow ‘ordinary people’ to have their grievances about official actions heard, and possible redress provided.

In the subsequent 35 years, the Office of the Ombudsmen has gained a respected place in New Zealand society and as a pioneer among such organizations world-wide. Sitting alongside governmental organizations, it has, as necessary, reprimanded, cajoled, instructed, encouraged and assisted branches of executive government to remedy past mistakes, to correct present practices where necessary, and to improve the operation of government for the future.

This book tells the story of the Office and the Ombudsmen, but it also places ombudsman work in its political and legal contexts, noting the roles individuals have played and outlining some of the tens of thousands of investigations they have conducted. Soft cover, 190 pages.


Our Political Future: The Great Game for The Beehive Shield by Walter Christie.  ISBN 0473057085. Published by Wyvern Press. Recommended retail price $18.95.

Only the teams of Labour and National have held the Beehive Shield in New Zealand since 1935. For some time we’ve been needing a fresher team playing a smarter game.

A fresh team playing a smarter game will outplay the were-champions in about every move on the field, be it jobs, health, education, super, finances, the economy, the treaty, the environment, law and order, defense, rural development, immigration… Soft cover, 127 pages. Published in 2000.


Republicanism in New Zealand edited by Luke Trainor. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864692560. Recommended retail price $18.

Republicanism is on the New Zealand agenda. Although attracting little discussion, it has the potential to change our national identities, our international role, the structure of our constitution and the nature of democracy in this country.

This book explores the origins of the movement, its meaning for recent changes in everyday life (‘the free market’, proportional representation), its connection to overseas developments and its distinctive character here, including tino rangatiratanga.

In an understandable, lively fashion, the subject is discussed by six people who are knowledgeable in their fields: Bruce Jesson, Jane Kelsey, Andrew Stockley, Rakihiia Tau, Luke Trainor and Andrea Tunks. This book is an accessible and reliable point of reference for what will inevitably be an important subject for debate in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Soft cover, 190 pages.

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Rights, Rules & Responsibilities in International Conduct edited by Russell Solomon

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Last modified on Monday, January 19, 2004